Thursday, February 5, 2009

Miss Whittier Makes a List - Carla Kelly

Miss Hannah Whittier was a most proper young lady, but now she found herself in a most improper position. Not only was she the sole female on a British man-of-war, but he ship's commander, Captain Sir Daniel Spark, seemed to feel she owed him far more than gratitude for fishing her out of the sea.

This overbearingly arrogant officer was all that Hannah found infuriating in a man--and it should have been easy to repulse his advances… if only he were not so handsome… if only he did not know how to be so charming… if only she did not find that the salt air worked a sea change on her senses… as powerful currents swept her far from familiar shores into unknown waters where the compass of conscience could not guide her on a course that was headed for the shores of scandal and rocks of ruin…

Hannah Whittier, a young Quaker girl, is traveling to Charleston to be married. To her dismay, her ship is first attacked by the British, whose Captain forces a young American boy to join his crew, and later by the French who kill almost all the passengers and destroy the vessel. The young woman manages to escape and is saved by the same British crew lead by Captain Sir Daniel Spark.

What went wrong for me in Miss Whittier Makes a List? The two main characters, Hannah and Daniel. I normally don't mind very young heroines but here it was almost a torture to follow this girl's adventures. She is naive beyond belief and sometimes plain silly. I couldn't relate to her in any possible way and if some of her attitudes were supposed to be funny or refreshing, that didn't work for me at all.

Unfortunately, the hero was not much better. When he first meets the heroine, he appears as a ruthless and quite arrogant man, but right after he seems like a complete different person and shows a huge amount of patience with Hannah who is constantly in everyone's way. Suddenly to make up for all her faux-pas, there she is making extraordinary coffee for the captain, or giving him her support in a difficult moment…

I never believed not for a second that these two had feelings for each other. First him, a man well on his 30's suddenly claiming he is deeply in love with a 17 year old girl who he barely knows. And when he declares his love, it's her who shows some sense, but not for long. I just couldn't picture them together, there was no spark, no attraction whatsoever. I even started to think he was marrying her for her coffee…

After suspending my disbelief for so long I finally gave up, making of Miss Whittier Makes a List my first DNF of the year.

Grade: DNF




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